NewsMissoula County


Van Buren interchange getting new mural that honors Salish, Kootenai tribes

Posted at 5:16 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 19:47:22-04

MISSOULA – The Van Buren interchange project is pretty much completed with some construction still going on and another project that should brighten up the area.

Along with the construction, fine artist Lillian Nelson is currently working on a new mural that will adorn one of the sides of the round about.

Nelson was chosen by the Missoula Public Art committee after she presented a model of what the finished mural would look like and a lengthy interview process.

The size of the project is the largest Nelson has worked on but she has had experience with some indoor projects close to this size and has already done some outdoor artwork around Missoula.

The inspiration for the project comes from the Salish and Kootenai tribes, who Nelson says has been under represented here in Missoula.

“Looking around town I kind of realized that there’s not a lot of big public art pieces that honor the Salish Kootenai tribes that used to be here and I really thought that was something that should be addressed.  We needed to have a little more, pay some sort of,” fine artist and mural designer Lillian Nelson said “Just honor them a little bit. We are here on what was there land for thousands of year.”

Nelson says the deadline for the project was the end of the month but after realizing the project was a little bigger than expected she said she will have a couple weeks into July to finish it.